Those of you who know me and read my updates know that I am a staunch believer that HR absolutely must accurately and consistently document discipline – “If you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen.” A recent EEOC settlement is a good example of this truism.Continue reading “If I Have Said It Once”
Yesterday the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a case in which an employer, Angel Brothers, sought review of a decision from the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission affirming a Citation against it. You can find the decision here if you care to read it. https://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/20/20-60849-CV0.pdfContinue reading “Recent Fifth Circuit Ruling Offers Great Tips for Avoiding Osha Citations”
For those of you who may not have heard yet, as we predicted, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an Order staying application of the new OSHA COVID-19 ETS. The stay is only temporary, and the parties will orally argue their cases tomorrow, after which the court will issue a ruling, which could extend or vacate the stay.Continue reading “Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Stay of Osha Covid-19 ETS”
On October 25, 2021, the EEOC issued updated guidance related to COVID-19: “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” You can find the updated guidance here: https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws.
The new guidance adds section L.1 through L.5 dealing with Title VII and religions objections to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. In my opinion, the updated guidance does not change much and should really be more of a re-affirmation of what you are already doing.Continue reading “EEOC’s 10/25/2021 Updated Technical Assistance Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination Religious Exemption Requests Really Doesn’t Change Much”
Some of you probably know that my father is the former head football coach of the LSU Football Tigers. My Dad used to tell me that if you take care of the basics: knowing your assignment, blocking, and tackling, the wins will usually follow. In HR, like football, there are some basic concepts that we really need to get right if we are going to be successful. (Have you ever seen a more tortured segue from football to wage and hour law?)
One of the basic concepts that I have recently seen employers neglect is that an employee can almost never qualify as exempt from overtime under the FLSA if they are not paid on a salary basis. Over time, deductions from salaries seem get implemented without anyone noticing that they are jeopardizing the exempt nature of the position.Continue reading “Back to the Basics”
The proposed penalty increase is part of a $707 million OSHA budget increase through 2026 that is contained in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. President Biden has repeatedly expressed his intent to ramp up staffing levels at OSHA to facility increased inspections and investigations. This budget increase will allow OSHA to do just that.Continue reading “Democrats Propose Bill to Increase Maximum Penalty for OSHA “Willful” Violations to $700,000 as Part of $3.5 Trillion Budget Reconciliation Package”
Today the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a Press Release announcing OSHA’s intention to take aggressive action to “combat the hazards associated with extreme heat exposure…” Given our climate, these actions will necessarily impact a great many of us.Continue reading “OSHA is Tripling Down on Heat-Related Hazards”
On September 9th President Biden outlined his multi-prong plan to combat the COVID-19 epidemic.
Most significantly to employers, the President directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all employers with 100 or more employees require that employees either be fully vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test result on at least a weekly basis. Then ETS will include language requiring employers to provide paid time off for employees to be vaccinated or recover from being vaccinated. It is unclear whether or not the ETS will contain a similar mandate for employees to obtain a COVID-19 test. Under some circumstances, an ETS can become effective immediately upon publication.Continue reading “President Biden Outlines New Vaccination Plan”
You may recall that under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), group health plans that are subject to COBRA must provide coverage to assist eligible individuals (AEI) at no cost between April 1, 2021, and September 30, 2021 (the Subsidy Period). In addition, plan sponsors must notify affected AEIs within a window (45 to 15 days) before the premium assistance will end. So, plan sponsors must issue notices to AEI’s whose continuation coverage runs through September 30 no later than next Wednesday, September 15, 2021.Continue reading “The ARPA COBRA Notice Deadline is Just Around the Corner”
The EEOC’s position on this issue is pretty clear: Federal law does not prevent an employer from requiring all employees entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to the reasonable accommodation provisions of Title VII and the ADA and other EEO considerations. https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws Section K.1.
Recent judicial rulings have agreed. As the judge in the recent Houston Methodist Hospital case held, the hospital is in the business of saving lives without infecting patients with the virus, and as such, an employer that mandates vaccines, regardless of whether it is in a safety-sensitive industry, may intend to demonstrate that it cares for all of its employees and wants to ensure a safe workplace.Continue reading “You Absolutely Can Require Your Employees to be Vaccinated; Unless…”